Saturday, April 1

What Happened to the Dames Point Bridge Lights?

I was excited when I heard that the Dames Point Bridge would benefit from some lighting at night. I figured it would look cool. 

When the lights first came on, I was a little disappointed because it seemed that the lights could have been designed better or that a percentage of the lighting was still off. In fact, I think some nights the lights were only half on. 

Then, after about a month, I thought the lights appeared to be pretty good: you could see it from all directions, at least. Or maybe I just got used to the semi-lit look. Anyhow, the Dames Point Bridge was lit, and it looked good. Good enough. 

Then, after a couple of months of hearing positive comments about the pretty bridge, I noticed that the Dames Point was only half lit. One side only. Bridges don't look cool only half-lit, but we seemed to try it for a couple of weeks. 

Eventually, however, the lights went off completely, and that's around the time of me writing about them. I haven't done the research as to why the lights went off. It doesn't really matter. I can tell you that tourists liked them when they were on, but I can't confirm those tourists spent any more money in the region or bothered to go downtown. 

In the end, the lighting of the Dames Point Bridge may end up being a metaphor for Jacksonville: lots of potential, slow to get going, great for a while, sputtering, and then failure. As an outsider who has become an insider, I'd say that maintaining some attention to detail would be a positive improvement for a city that does not need to continually sputter and fail. Let's light the bridge and keep it lit. Let's start some projects and finish them. And then maintain what we finish. People notice. 

A few days after I published this article, the lights came back on the Dames Point. However, several of the lights seemed to be out, while others were continuously flashing. Maybe we need to get an electrician on the bridge to see if the connections are good. If the light bulbs are flashing because they're going bad after a few months, that's going to be a long-term problem with whatever bulbs were purchased, and the bridge will look half-ass for years to come.

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I'm Gonna be a Homeschool Millionaire!

Florida is about to pass a voucher school bill that lets responsible parents like myself decide what's best for my kids. Because I know. And I also know that I can get $8,000 for each one of those little bastards I keep home to educate. 

So let's see, four kids, fourteen years each...$448,000. Half a million, anyhow. I'll just set them right down in front of Fox News and they'll know all they need to know. Maybe some 700 Club for a little religion and Newsmax for some unbiased hard news. I can still work my other jobs as long as someone's home to make sure the kids are using some learning apps on their phones. 

Since it's about mind and body, weekly fishing and shooting field trips will be necessary, as well as recess at the local park for as long as it takes to tire them out. 

I guess it probably makes sense to get some book-learning curriculum, too, and since that only costs about $500 per year per kid, we'll still have plenty left over to put a down payment on my new RAM pickup.  

Actually, it probably makes sense to find four other families at church that also want to homeschool so that I only have to watch kids once a week. Yep, I'll be a pretty good teacher, for sure, and I know what's best for my kids. 

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